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Schools for Misrule

John McGinnis has this review in the WSJ of Walter Olson's book, Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America.  He especially likes the part about legal clinics:

Mr. Olson superbly describes the rise of legal clinics, the law-school component ostensibly designed to give students hands-on training. He notes that the charitable foundations that first funded these clinics were more concerned with creating turbines of social change than with educating students. These days, many more clinics engage in public-interest litigation (defined by a rather predictable liberal agenda) than devote themselves to matters like the legal ordeals of small businesses, though thinking about a deli's contract dispute with a supplier would be more relevant to a law student's future working life. Some of these public-interest litigation shops have substantial funds. Mr. Olson observes that the budget of Brennan Center at New York University alone comes to roughly 80% of that of the Federalist Society, the national organization of legal conservatives that is routinely vilified by Democratic politicians for its inordinate--and, of course, pernicious--effect on our legal culture.

An online ad for the book has this blurb from Chief Judge Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit:  "Every year I hire as law clerks some of the best and brightest law students in the country, and spend a year wringing out of them all the wrong-headed ideas their law professors taught them.  Now I know why."

Of course, in light of his opinion today in the Stolen Valor Act case (an opinion that will be greeted warmly in legal academia), Judge Kozinski needs to wring some wrong-headed ideas out of himself.

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